The new season of the German top flight, the Bundesliga, is almost upon us, with the league set to commence on 18th August 2023.
The 61st campaign of the Bundesliga will involve 18 teams, including two promoted sides from the second tier of German football called Bundesliga 2.
Schalke 04 and Hertha BSC suffered relegation at the end of the 2022/23 German Bundesliga season.
Darmstadt 98 and FC Heidenheim finished first and second, respectively, to gain automatic promotion to the Bundesliga.
Bundesliga 2 side Hamburger SV missed out on the third promotion spot after losing to Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart in the promotion playoffs.
Today we will be discussing and profiling the two newly promoted Bundesliga sides for the 2023/24 season — Darmstadt 98 and FC Heidenheim.
Heidenheim 1846 will be participating in their first-ever Bundesliga campaign after gaining promotion to the German top tier.
Based in the city with the same name, the Baden-Wurttemberg club finished champions of Bundesliga 2 after securing 67 points from 34 matches played.
FC Heidenheim won 3-2 against Jahn Regensburg on the final matchday of the 2022-23 season by scoring two goals in stoppage time.
They managed to finish top of the table ahead of Darmstadt on goal difference and were promoted to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history.
This will surprisingly be the first time in the history of the 177-year-old club that they will be playing in the German top flight.
FC Heidenheim originally split from sister club Heidenheimer SB in 2007 and have been existing on their own since then.
They have had to work their way up from the German lower-tier football to the top echelon slowly but surely over the years.
The Frank Schmidt-managed side will be hoping they can hold their own against the best German clubs in the land during the 2023/2024 league campaign.
Heidenheim will be relying on support from their passionate fans, who will be packed into 15,000 capacity Voith-Arena every home match day.
The new boys will be hoping that Bundesliga 2 top goal striker Tim Kleindienst can repeat his impressive goal-scoring form in the top German division.
A lot of responsibility will be placed on the shoulders of the 27-year-old forward, with the hope that he can replicate his 25 goals in the Bundesliga and help them maintain their top-flight status by the season’s end.
The Lilies, as they are also fondly called, will be making a return to the Bundesliga after a six-year absence. Darmstadt gained promotion by finishing second in Bundesliga 2.
Even though they amassed the same 67 points as Heidenheim, they finished runners-up on account of their poorer goal difference.
The Southern German-based club will be hoping for a longer stay in the Bundesliga this time and will also be hoping to turn their 17,000 Merck-Stadion am Bollenfalltor home ground into a veritable fortress when the new season commences.
Torsten Lieberknecht currently manages the 125-year-old club.